With Jack Stocken

Yorkshire Post - YP Magazine - - Front Page -

Su­san Rib­bons and Les­ley Eas­ton have won the Im­provers Pairs. Run­ners up were Colin Robin­son and Janet Hard­cas­tle, third were Tony Harmer and Ian Bergel.

To­day’s hand comes from a lo­cal du­pli­cate. East West were play­ing Weak Jump over­calls which I would highly rec­om­mend as be­ing most dis­rup­tive to the opponents. 2♠ showed a good 6 card suit and 5 – 10 points.

Had North South been play­ing the pop­u­lar 2NT Ja­coby con­ven­tion then North would have bid 3♠ over West’s

2♠. This would have promised 4+ hearts and 12+ points. The beauty of this con­ven­tion is that it leaves more bid­ding room to in­ves­ti­gate slam pos­si­bil­ity rather than the shut-out bid of 4♥ straight away.

West led the Ten of diamonds against 4♥, de­clarer won with the King and drew trumps in two rounds end­ing in hand. De­clarer counted four pos­si­ble losers, the Ace of spades and most likely three clubs as the suit was “Frozen”.

The only way to thaw out the club suit was to try and get the opponents to play the suit, thus guar­an­tee­ing de­clarer a club win­ner.

Thus de­clarer played the ♠4 from hand, low from West and the Queen from dummy. Next came the Ace of diamonds, de­clarer dis­card­ing the ♠7 from hand and then de­clarer ruffed the three of diamonds in hand.

With diamonds par­tially elim­i­nated, de­clarer played the los­ing King of spades from hand, West won with the Ace and was now end-played. With no diamonds left, West could only play a spade which would give de­clarer a “Ruff and a Dis­card” or a club, open­ing up the suit for de­clarer.

West chose to play the ♣5, hop­ing part­ner had the Q10 but de­clarer played low from dummy and East won with the Ace. East re­turned a club to West’s King but this then es­tab­lished the Queen of clubs for de­clarer’s tenth trick. 4♥ made.

Note that had de­clarer played the club suit her­self she would have lost three tricks un­less East had both the Ace and King of clubs which is less likely than split honours.

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